Gloria Coates

1933 - 2023

American

Summary

Gloria Coates was born in Wausau, Wisconsin, and began composing and experimenting with overtones and clusters from an early age. She completed her postgraduate studies in composition at Columbia University, with both Alexander Tcherepnin and Otto Luening being important mentors.

Since 1969, Coates lived primarily in Europe. The Polish Chamber Orchestra premiered her Music on Open Strings at Warsaw Autumn Festival in 1978 and in 1980 the piece achieved a breakthrough at Munich’s Musica Viva as the first orchestral composition by a woman composer to be featured in the festival’s 34-year history.

Described by Mark Swed of the LA Times as “the most obscure great composer of our time”, Coates has written numerous works including symphonies, string quartets, chamber music, solo and vocal music, musique concrète, and the chamber opera Stolen Identity.

Biography

Gloria Coates was born in Wausau, Wisconsin, and began composing and experimenting with overtones and clusters from an early age. Her studies took her from Chicago, Cooper Union Art School, NYC, and Louisiana (with a Master’s in Composition), to postgraduate studies in composition at Columbia University, with both Alexander Tcherepnin and Otto Luening being important mentors.

Since 1969, Coates lived primarily in Europe. The Polish Chamber Orchestra premiered her Music on Open Strings (Symphony No1) under Jerzy Maksymiuk at Warsaw Autumn Festival in 1978, and in 1986 it was a finalist for the Koussevitzky International Award (KIRA). The piece achieved a breakthrough at Munich’s Musica Viva in 1980 as the first orchestral composition by a woman composer in the 34 year history of the festival.

Described by Mark Swed of the LA Times as “the most obscure great composer of our time”, Coates has written numerous works including 17 symphonies, 10 string quartets, chamber music, solo and vocal music, musique concrète, and the chamber opera Stolen Identity. Her music has been performed at many festivals including March Music (Berlin), New Music America (New York), Other Minds (San Francisco), the Dresden Festival, Warsaw Autumn, Avanti (Finland), the Hans Werner Henze Festival in Montepulciano, and Aspekte Salzburg.

Among the artists who have performed her work include the Kronos, Kreutzer, Spektral, and Jack String Quartets; Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Brooklyn Philharmonic; Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra; Milwaukee Symphony; Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, and St Paul Chamber Orchestra. In November 2018, she was invited by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for a concert of her Symphony Nos. 1, 7 and 11, conducted by Ilan Volkov.

Gloria was also a poet and a painter, with many of her paintings used as the artwork for her recordings.

Gloria Coates works are published by Edition Peters. 

News

Performances

7th September 2024

PERFORMERS
Niedersächsisches Staatsorchester Hannover; Staatsballett Hannover
CONDUCTOR
Piotr Jaworski
LOCATION
Opernhaus, Hanover, Germany

13th September 2024

PERFORMERS
Niedersächsisches Staatsorchester Hannover; Staatsballett Hannover
CONDUCTOR
Piotr Jaworski
LOCATION
Opernhaus, Hanover, Germany

22nd September 2024

PERFORMERS
Niedersächsisches Staatsorchester Hannover; Staatsballett Hannover
CONDUCTOR
Piotr Jaworski
LOCATION
Opernhaus, Hanover, Germany

21st December 2024

PERFORMERS
Niedersächsisches Staatsorchester Hannover; Staatsballett Hannover
CONDUCTOR
Piotr Jaworski
LOCATION
Opernhaus, Hanover, Germany

25th December 2024

PERFORMERS
Niedersächsisches Staatsorchester Hannover; Staatsballett Hannover
CONDUCTOR
Piotr Jaworski
LOCATION
Opernhaus, Hanover, Germany

Features

  • Celebrating Women Composers
  • Explore music by women for dance
    • Explore music by women for dance
    • In response to requests from choreographers, dance and ballet companies we invite you to explore music in multiple styles and genres by women at the height of their composing game. From Missy Mazzoli, Maja Ratkje and Helen Grime, to Joan Tower, Kaija Saariaho, Gloria Coates and the new generation Hania Rani and Lisa Morgenstern, we are sure there’s something for everyone in this first in a series of specially curated features.

Photos